Saturday, February 23, 2008


Roller - Self Portrait
Black & white charcoal with conte 9 x 12 grey Mi Tientes
copyright Jeanette Jobson

This self portrait was a combination of insomnia at 4am and reading Drawing magazine's article on Julia Randall's work at the Jeff Bailey Gallery in New York. Julia's done these amazing coloured pencil drawings of tongues and mouths.
"... Randall makes colored pencil drawings that incorporate depictions of her mouth, resulting in images that are voyeruistic, suggestive, slightly grotesque, and quite humorous..."
Julia's pieces are all that the article's preamble suggest and more. The are fascinating and repugnant at the same time. What else could I do but try out the concept to break my dry spell? The self portrait above is the result.

I enjoyed using charcoal in a more controlled way as I'm usually weilding large chunks of it at life class. There is something a little disturbing about the light and dark with the touch of colour, but that's what I was aiming for. I may do a few more drawings in this medium and subject before its put to rest.

And yes, I can roll my tongue. Can you?

Friday, February 22, 2008

Boots in art

Blundstone boot
Red ink
copyright Jeanette Jobson

I'm doing a little sketching while I regroup and think what my next project will be. These are my most comfortable boots - a pair of chunky soled Blundstone's that wear forever and keep getting more and more comfortable. They're not the most elegant or feminine, but I'm at the stage in life where I don't need to care what others think - and probably rarely did! They're not great for summer as they're too warm and heavy but perfect for trekking through winter snow and ice.

In 2007 Blundstone held Boot It Up where individuals painted Blundstone boots and they were auctioned off at a silent auction in Toronto in September, with the proceeds going to Sketch.
Sketch says:

"Sketch creates art making opportunities for young people who live street-involved and homeless or who are considered to be at risk.

Sketch programs provide access to youth who are at different places in their lives.
It offers a progressive learning framework that can lead to long-term sustainable change. Or you can just stop in for a day. Youth choose their entry, their tools and determine the process. True to Community Arts practice, the process is as important as (sometimes more important than) the product. It is a framework that can be transported to any place."

There have been a couple of weeks where I've lost a bit of direction, likely because I've been busy doing all the peripheral things around art. The marketing, planning, writing, demos, teaching - everything but creating art itself - or at least not in any major way.

Now its time to get down to it and produce some work or there'll be nothing to market, plan for, write about, demonstrate or teach! I sometimes get sidetracked into doing everything around art, but little that produces art and it becomes difficult to get out of that rut sometimes.

I will revisit a couple of planned projects and see if they can inspire me and I also have a few ideas kicking around in my head that I may experiment with this weekend. Tomorrow's looks like its going to be a snow day, with around 15cm of snow expected (6 inches). A good day to hibernate and produce.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

What is art?

Creature Comforts is a claymation series produced by Aardman Animations that mixes animated animals and interviews with real people (in this case “real” Americans who share their views on art.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Teaching drawing

coloured pencil on Canson 11 x 14
copyright Jeanette Jobson

I've been reassessing what I teach and how I teach and figuring out what I enjoy teaching, and what I need to improve, eliminate or add to what I currently do.

I sort of fell into teaching and it has taken up a lot of my time. I'd done tutorials and run private classes off and on previously but hadn't provided regular, structured classes. Its taken awhile to prepare the initial format as I was going into a program already in place, but I was left to put my own mark on it with no external direction. Reaching the stage where I have enough material and ideas in my head and portfolio, I'm now deciding if this structure is the way I want to go. Do I want to be tied to this structure or be able to behave in a more freelance method?

Part of me enjoys the interaction with people - and its children and adults that I teach. Part of me dislikes elements of it. I haven't had much experience in teaching children prior to this and was quite up front with that fact when inquiring about the teaching position. Children are, in some ways, easier to teach than adults, but the content and instruction is at a very different level. The inability to move ahead or the process of repeating over and over the same class even if the students are different sometimes becomes a little monotonous. There are demos of drawings I do in my sleep, I swear. Because I deal with complete beginners in most cases, that in itself is a challenge.

I will be teaching a workshop in May and am looking forward to the experience. It will be adult based, multi-ability and based in graphite and realism, my comfort zone. I am in the process of developing the demos and content for it and once that in place, it may form the base from which to move forward into other workshops.

It amazes me how the twists and turns of life place you, and usually that place is somewhere that you never expected to be. My intention in art wasn't teaching, even though I have done adult education in various forms. I don't think it will be my final resting place, but the journey to that point will be interesting.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Life class

I finally got back to my life class last night and did 16 drawings during the two hours on newsprint with charcoal. The poses are the usual warm up 1 minute, 2 minute, 3 minute then up to 10 and finally 20. I'm beginning to get a little frustrated with the shortness of the poses, as I feel I'm just getting the form down to a reasonable degree and the pose changes again.

I think at the next class I'll concentrate on a tighter view and see if I can develop it more in one of the 2o minute poses. I have been asked to tutor the next two weeks classes as the regular tutor won't be available. Its a mix of interest and frustration to do this. Its always interesting to guide others as they develop their work, but frustrating not to be able to draw at the same time.

Here are a few of the sketches that I did last night of the male model that we had. He's highly energetic in the initial poses, and some make me wonder how he'll ever get up out of them again. He does settle down in the last half of the class and is usually sitting by then which lets me breath again!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Warm up sketch

Before the Mirror
Robert Barrett Browning

I have life class tonight after it being cancelled the last two weeks, so I'm anxious to get back into again. So lunchtime I was loosening up a little with a sketch of this painting. I love the pose, but don't know if I can convince the model to hold it for 30 minutes to do it justice.

And now for something just plain silly.

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